How To Vote In The 2020 Election

Published on September 23, 2020

If you are a human adult, you probably know that the 2020 election is coming up. You also probably know that voting is really important. Some might call it an essential civic and patriotic duty.

Worried about how to vote in the 2020 election? Don’t stress. We’ve got you covered.


First and foremost, in order to vote, you must be registered. In order to register to vote, you must be 18 (or turning 18 before election day, depending on your state) and be a U.S. citizen. Beyond that, each state has different rules and deadlines when it comes to voting. Below, you can see every registration deadline for every state.

Even if you are pretty sure you are already registered, it never hurts to check. Good news! Checking your voter registration has never been easier. I am a voter is a nonpartisan organization that helps you easily check on your registration status and provides you with any needed information on how to vote in the United States. On their website, you can easily check your registration status, see what your eligibility is, and actually register to vote. You can also text the word “VOTER” to 26797 and they’ll send you personalized information and links based on your name and zip code. I did it this morning, just to double-check, and it took maybe two minutes tops.

Cast That Vote!

Once you have your registration status all sorted out, you have a variety of options to actually cast your vote depending on where you live. Most states allow some form of early voting, especially given the COVID-19 pandemic. Some states send absentee ballots automatically through the mail. In others, you have to specifically request an absentee ballot. Make sure you check your state’s specific requirements and make a plan for how you want to vote in the 2020 election. For a complete list of each state and their respective voting information, and how things have changed due to COVID-19, click here.

You might be worried about voting by mail, given everything that’s going on with USPS. In that case, many of the states that allow early voting have drop off locations where you can cast your ballot early, but without using the mail. Voting in person is also always an option. If you choose to vote in person on election day and your state is one of the ones listed below, make sure you bring an ID with you to vote.

Many mail-in ballots come pre-paid with postage and will specify as such, but not all. Some states that require voters to stamp their own ballots will say as such, and postage requirements will depend on where you live. That being said, the USPS is required by federal law to deliver ballots even if they lack proper postage. Also, many places will set out official ballot drop boxes at voting locations. We recommend checking with your local county clerk about how to submit your ballot in this way. You can also consult your county clerk with any questions you might have about your mail-in ballot.

The USPS also warns voters that opt to vote by mail that they should submit their ballots prior to Election Day. While many states require that ballots be counted as long as they’re postmarked by November 3rd, the postal service recommends that voters turn in their ballots no later than 15 days before Election Day.

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3. Our voices are an essential part of the American democracy, so make sure you get out there and vote!


Olivia Smith is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in San Francisco, she covers events, entertainment, fashion, and technology. She also serves as a Voices contributor at PopSugar.

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